English as a Second Language Curriculum

The mission of the ESL component of the Writing Program is to help non-native speakers achieve college-level proficiency in English speaking, reading, and writing. Our ESL seminars (WR 111 and WR 112) prepare students for the challenges they will face in subsequent Writing Seminars (WR 120, WR 150, WR 151, and WR 152) and in the courses they will take throughout their college careers.

The ESL course sequence teaches students to read critically, speak articulately, and write effectively. The seminars place an emphasis on the structure of language as a basis for effective analytical writing. Students examine cultural differences in strategies for classroom discourse and learn the rhetorical conventions of academic English.

Enrollment in Writing Program courses for students whose first language is not English is based upon placement test results. ESL students who do not advance immediately to WR 120 will be placed either in WR 111 or WR 112. Initial placement in WR 111 requires completion of WR 112 in the next semester, prior to taking WR 120. Students enrolled initially in WR 112 proceed thereafter to WR 120.

Guiding Principles

The goal of the ESL program is to help ESL international students achieve a balance of language skills that would allow them to perform competently—and on a par with their native peers—the academic writing tasks relevant to their majors.

The ESL course sequence is designed to enhance the ability to read critically, discuss effectively, and present ideas in correct, coherent, and effective writing. Grammar topics are covered within the context of writing, through targeted teaching of linguistic structures and workshops on patterns of errors identified in students’ writing.

A major goal is also to cultivate awareness of the rhetorical conventions of academic English and to train the students to apply culturally appropriate strategies for maintaining disciplinary discourse.

Book an Online Writing Consultation

Writing Consultants are available for online tutoring for all CAS WR classes. Appointments can be booked online. Appointments will be held online only until further notice.
 
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WR Transfer Credit

Did you take or are you planning to take a writing class at another school? You may be able to receive WR transfer credit for it.
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Alumni Writing Awards

CAS is now accepting nominations for its annual Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence. This year alumni donors will recognize four outstanding student papers: two in the Humanities, one in the Natural Sciences, and one in the Social Sciences. Contest information